September 18 Market Update

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Sep 2017
Sep
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 183  314  781
New Listings 321  598  1050
Active Listings 1949 2011  2061
Sales to New Listings  57%  53%  74%
Sales Projection  616
Months of Inventory  2.6

Sales continuing to weaken relative to last year as we are now 21% below the rate of this time last year (first week we were down 16%).   As fall rapidly approaches, we are seeing an increasing number of sellers either give up their unrealistic price expectations by cancelling listings or not renewing them (78 last week) or drop prices (95 of those) to dry to entice the late house hunters.

Inventory is also up and has cracked 2000.   That is very low historically speaking, but this is a time it should be dropping, not rising.   That means the market slowdown is overcoming the normal seasonal trend.

Continue reading

September 11 Market Update

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Sep 2017
Sep
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 183  781
New Listings 321  1050
Active Listings 1949  2061
Sales to New Listings  57%  74%
Sales Projection
Months of Inventory  2.6

A weak start to the month compared to last year.   We are down 16% in sales while new listings are about the same as last year.   We are still cruising along at 5% less total inventory but the difference is becoming immaterial.

It also doesn’t tell the whole story.  Looking at the areas most people are interested in (residential listings in the core, westshore, and peninsula), total inventory as well as inventory for detached houses and condos are up.   Only the number of townhouse listings are down by 15 from last September.

Meanwhile comparing the same days of September to last year, sales are down substantially for all those categories except condos.

It’s not a lot of days to compare, but it’s pretty clear that the low inventory is not the reason that sales are down from last year, and they are slumping because of a reduced demand at current prices.   We should expect market conditions to continue to improve for buyers overall and especially in the detached market going forward.

Continue reading

Aug 28 Market Update

Still on vacation but back in town.  Good to see the blog humming along without my meddling.   Interesting discussion of full service vs mere postings in the last thread.   I think this topic deserves a lot more attention and analysis, both on the selling side (mere postings) and on the buying side (commission offered).   Is there evidence that the level of commission both on the buying and on the selling side is correlated with positive outcomes for buyers or sellers?   It’s a topic that much of the industry wishes would never be mentioned.

I recently made my info and brokerage more prominent on the right because the Real Estate Council said it wasn’t displayed as required in the advertising standards.  Point is they generally don’t come looking unless they get a complaint and I’m sure any attempt to talk about the holy grail of commissions will unleash some more.   Should be interesting!

For now though, here are the weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Aug 2017
Aug
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 157  322  483  644
883
New Listings 222  431  676  911
1120
Active Listings 1932 1915  1942  1951
2094
Sales to New Listings  71%  75%  71%  71%
79%
Sales Projection  777  750  750
Months of Inventory 2.4

Inventory continues to creep up in a time when it would usually be flat or decreasing.   Not a lot yet, but something to watch.   There’s always a drop of listings at the end of the month as the dregs expire, so we should expect to finish with about 1900 active listings or some 9% less than this time last year.  That’s despite listing cancellations up as the leftovers from spring that didn’t cut it get stale.

 

Continue reading

Aug 21 Market Update

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Aug 2017
Aug
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 157  322  483
883
New Listings 222  431  676
1120
Active Listings 1932 1915  1942
2094
Sales to New Listings  71%  75%  71%
79%
Sales Projection  777  750
Months of Inventory 2.4

Bit of a surprise increase in inventory this week due to a bump in new listings from 209 two weeks ago to 245 last week.   Maybe a few extra people trying to sell their house before the moon blots out the sun for good.   SFH prices relatively stagnant so far this month still while condos continue to increase.  Sales are coming anywhere from 13% below list to 12% over ask (and one lot in Sooke that sold for 45% over ask).   25% of sales going for more than 1% over ask, 31% selling for within 1% of asking price, and 44% more than 1% under ask.

Continue reading

Aug 14 Market Update

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Aug 2017
Aug
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 157  322
883
New Listings 222  431
1120
Active Listings 1932 1915
2094
Sales to New Listings  71%  75%
79%
Sales Projection  777
Months of Inventory 2.4

Detached homes are still being outpaced by condos, with 29% of detached homes in August going for over ask compared to 39% of condos.    At 21 days, it takes almost twice as long to sell the average house as the average condo right now.   To keep some perspective that is still relatively low given that two years ago it took 35 days and the year before it took 54.   However we can already see price cuts are necessary to shift houses, with the average sell price to original list dropping to 98.6% for detached while it remains over 100% for condos (this measure varies from 95% in declining markets to 103% in hot markets).

Continue reading

July 24 Market Update

Doesn’t seem like we are going to get any more inventory out this year.   It usually peaks in June, drops gradually until September, and drops more sharply after that to the low in December.

2016 was an abnormal year because inventory was drawn down throughout the whole year, whereas this year we are more on track for a normal seasonal pattern.  However the pattern is squashed, since we gained only 400 listings from January to June instead of the average of 800.

Continue reading

July 17 Market Update – Gordon Head drops off a cliff

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

July 2017
July
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 187  384
972
New Listings 315  582
1127
Active Listings 1972  1961
2161
Sales to New Listings  59%  66%
86%
Sales Projection  778
Months of Inventory 2.2

On the surface of it, seems like much the same as last year.  Tight market conditions, maybe a very slight easing but nothing major (graph below the fold).

But I happened to take a look at sales in Gordon Head since I haven’t noticed much selling lately.  Once one of the hottest neighbourhoods for detached houses, there were a grand total of 3 sales in the first half of July.   And don’t think it’s because there’s no inventory.    There are 36 28 properties on the market, and if this sales rate continues we’ll have 6 sales in July, or 6 months of inventory (There were 36 active listings as defined by VREB to mean any property that was for sale in the month).

Maybe just a fluke?  The rest of the sales coming in the second half of July?   As Marko pointed out, a number of other properties have accepted offers in place with conditions scheduled to be removed in the next few days so if those offers hold this could very well increase.  I haven’t seen other neighbourhoods where sales have just fallen off a cliff like that.  Oak Bay sales are at 19 so July will handily outsell last July (24  sales).   The Uplands has just one sale so far, but there are so few sales there normally that it isn’t wildly unusual.   Downtown Victoria looks like we’ll about match 2015 sales levels.   Maybe that million dollar listing for a 70s box with a coat of paint in Gordon Head woke people up to the nuttyness of price levels.

Continue reading

July 10 Market Update

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

July 2017
July
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 187
972
New Listings 315
1127
Active Listings 1972
2161
Sales to New Listings  59%
86%
Sales Projection
Months of Inventory

2.2

An OK start to the month.   22% fewer sales than this time last year, but only 12% fewer properties on the market.   The end result is an approximately equal reading for months of inventory and a lower sales/list ratio.

Second quarter buyer origin data is out as well.  Remember, the VREB “buyer origin” data represents what the buyers of a property put down on the contract as their address.  It does not indicate buyer nationality, and anyone moving here first to rent would be counted as a local.   This is different than the foreign buyer data that the province collects at the time of the title transfer.  The VREB no longer allows the buyer origin field to be queried so I can no longer make charts like this but they do release the report on the region quarterly instead of annually.  Here is the latest data.

It’s clear that lower mainland and out of town buying in general has eased up from 2016, if only a bit.   Since sales are down overall, it means the absolute number of out of town buyers should end up around 30% less than in 2016. The full data for the first half of the year looks like this.

And comparison to previous years:

Continue reading

Hottest Markets Slowing Down

It’s a bit of an odd market out there.  On the one hand, there are more over ask sales than even last year and we have extremely low inventory.   On the other the number of price cuts seem to be increasing.   By the stats it’s still a very hot market but around here there are more listings coming on and they are selling quite slowly.

Last June Gordon Head was smoking hot, with only 30 detached homes for sale, and half of all sales happening in 6 days or less.   Now there are 48 listings and climbing, and it takes twice as long for a sale.   Similar situation in Oak Bay, with listings double that of last June, and time to sell climbing.   So far the overall market stats have been masking these regional pullbacks.  Places like Langford have fewer detached listings than this time last year and properties are selling twice as quickly (median 10 days to sell instead of 22 last June).

Now the average days on market are still low compared to any normal year, but as it increases we will start to see fewer above ask sales.   Quite logically, the longer a property sits, the more of a discount off ask it is likely to sell for.  More importantly for buyers, a somewhat cooling market gives some breathing room to do due diligence and add conditions to an offer.

The above chart was created from history in 2016/17 for the sellers’ market, 2014/15 for the balanced market, and 2013 for the buyers’ market.

Also weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Continue reading

June 19 Market Update

Also weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

June 2017
June
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 96 331  586
1174
New Listings 189 542  849
1319
Active Listings 1939 2000  1992
2289
Sales to New Listings  51% 61%  69%
89%
Sales Projection 915  997
Months of Inventory

1.9

Well the 2000 listing level was short lived.  A good sales week drove it back down a smidge and we are now 15% below last year’s sales rate with 15% fewer properties on the market.

Despite some early signs of softening like more price changes, it seems the number of over-ask sales aren’t slowing down.   Looking at a few days of sales in the past years, the percentage of over-asks (defined as more than 1% over asking price) is higher than ever.  You can see a big difference between a hot market like now and last year, to a balanced market (2015) and a slow market (2013).

Continue reading